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George Dobell at Hove
May 7, 2012
West Indies 90 for 3 drew with Sussex
Only 14 overs were possible on the third day of West Indies' tour game at Hove before the decision was made to abandon it once and for all. If ever a game was crying out for euthanasia, this was it. After 34 overs across three bitterly cold and wet days, it was laid to rest shortly after lunch and will no doubt receive a burial at sea. It will go unmourned.
It says much for the conditions that the greatest moment of excitement - and that is playing fairly free and easy with the word excitement - came when two sea gulls, understandably mistaking the damp Hove outfield for the sea, swooped towards Kieran Powell just as was about to receive a delivery from Amjad Khan. Powell, reacting like an ornithophobia sufferer in an aviary, leapt out of the way and swished his bat at the birds; one of the more aggressive strokes he played. Perhaps he has simply watched rather too many Hitchcock films?
There were few moments of cheer for West Indies on the final day. Shivnarine Chanderpaul required treatment to a hand injury as a result of repetitive jarring - it is not thought to be serious - and Darren Bravo was struck high on the back as he attempted to duck a short ball from Amjad Khan. Bravo seemed fine, too, though the interview he gave at the close of play was so quiet that only lip readers and wolves could possibly have known he was even trying to communicate. The only wicket to fall was that of Powell, edging to the keeper after being caught in two minds whether to play or leave and doing a bit of both and a lot of neither.
Sussex's bowlers maintained a tight line and length in testing conditions and could feel quietly satisfied with their performance. The club continue to await news on Luke Wright's health. The allrounder, who has been appearing in the IPL back is in the UK having attended a family funeral, recently underwent tests to ascertain whether he has dengue fever.
Most pertinently, the West Indies are still missing three men. At present the team management confess they do not know where Marlon Samuels is, but they are expecting him to arrive on Tuesday. Assad Fudadin and Narsingh Deonarine, meanwhile, remain in Jamaica waiting for a visa. The UK Border Agency have recently tightened the work permit rules, but it is surely the job of someone at the West Indies Cricket Board to resolve these matters before such issues arise.
The squad travel to Northampton on Tuesday and begin their final warm-up match - a four day game against England Lions - the following day. With the weather forecast remaining far from promising, it seems inevitable that some of the team will go into the first Test having had very little opportunity to adjust to English conditions.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
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